Restrictions and requirements that apply to special permits for weddings include:
- A written permit is required for all wedding ceremonies fixing the date, time, and place of the ceremony.
- Access for other park visitors must not be impeded. Permits do not authorize exclusive use of any public lands, and the permittee must insure that the rights of the general public visiting Cape Hatteras National Seashore and its memorials are not infringed.
- Available parking is limited and cannot be guaranteed. Permittees and their guests must park within designated parking areas. Carpooling or private shuttle is recommended and may be required for some sites. Horse-drawn carriages are prohibited.
- Amplified music, CD's, radios and public address systems are prohibited. Acoustic music will be considered for ceremonies at the seashore but not at historical properties.
- The releasing of balloons, birds or butterflies and the throwing of rice, birdseed, flower petals or other natural or artificial material is not permitted.
- No chairs, altars, flower containers, arches, railings, ropes, torches or candelabras are permitted. Exception: elderly guests or guests with disabilities may use chairs.
- Permittees must exercise particular care to avoid disturbing wildlife and vegetation. Visitors, photographers and weddings are not permitted in undisturbed dune areas.
- All activities must stay within open trails and public areas. No weddings may be held within or upon any public park structure or its approach or steps.
- Affixing signage to existing buildings, property, signs, poles or plants is prohibited.
- All trash must be placed in onsite trash containers. If the site does not have containers or if trash volume exceeds container capacity, permittee must bag and remove trash from parklands. Permittees failing to effect such cleanup will be charged the cost for such services.
The foregoing summarizes some of the conditions set out on each permit. The actual conditions contained within the permit are binding upon the permittee. This is not a reservation system. The permit allows you to have a private ceremony in the national park. Rarely do we have two weddings on the same day. And while location is on a "first come, first served" basis, the park and its grounds are very large. Permittees are allowed to move their scheduled ceremony to another hour or park location open to the general public if weather or other conditions at the selected site makes a change desirable. We have more information to help you in selecting a wedding site.
If you would like to apply for a wedding permit, you need to simply complete the park wedding application and send it to the park in a timely fashion (we suggest 30 days) along with a check in the amount of $100.00 made payable to: "National Park Service". Mail your application and check to:
National Park Service
1401 National Park Road
Manteo, NC 27954
You can expect your permit in about 15 days after it is received.
You can obtain a permit earlier than 30 days before the event. As the fee is non-refundable, we recommend that you wait until 30 days before the wedding to ensure your plans are finalized. For planning purposes, please know that if you send the requested information and fee to us in a timely manner, you will receive a permit.
If you have any questions about the process or your permit, please contact our Special Park Uses Coordinator at (252) 475-9000 or email.